I sit on a white sand beach in Hoek van Holland, my toes in the sand as the sun burns off the morning fog. It’s early afternoon and a warm breeze dances with the grasses while crows walk pick at seaweed and white birds highgrad the tide pools.
Tugs and ferries and tankers and barges power up and down the channel, their engines smoking out and iron growl. Children call to their parents in dutch. The ‘Richard Maersk’ sails by painted burgundy and Yves Klein blue and the cranes at the port across the water are silhouettes thru the fog. Then there is a lull and distant sea gulls sing out while machinery rumbles beyond perception, somewhere lost in the haze.
I thinking of you and our conversation last night and I think I could take the next train back to Amsterdam. I won’t, but maybe I should. I think I could love you and I’m enjoying the sad romance of an affair unlived. There is beauty in the chaos of Jackson Pollock and there is beauty in the precision of Van Gough and there is beauty in the slow, deliberate movements of Ti Chi. I will slow down and live this moment deliberately.
The sun wipes back the chalk from the industry across the channel and wind turbines become visible, walking the wind between a chemical plant and an iron transhipment terminal. Sea gull cries have me think back to your face and wide eyes as I told you to read ‘Steppenwolf’ and I suspect that was a poor choice. Maybe someday in a darker, lonely funk you might find some joy in it. Sitting in the shadows of a side street in Amsterdam I knew you from it’s pages, but on the beach in the breeze in the warm light of day I would choose a lighter fare. Maybe Richard Bach or Charles Buckowski: Herman Hess was my trip but let someone else be yours if you wish to remember me fondly.
The desert was bad and the coffee was poor, but you said yes and sat with me awhile. When you walked away I knew I had to do the same. Did you look over your shoulder and see my sad smile? Enchanted? Yes.